JOHN J. WALSH
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF OTIS J. DYPWICK
P B E N T I C E - HALL, INC.
PRENTICE-HALL BOOKS ON HEALTH AND SPORTS
Elmer D. Mitchell, Editor
Copyright, 1 95 1 , by Prentice-Hall, Inc.
70 Fifth AVENUE, New York
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF
THIS BOOK MAY BE REPRODUCED IN
ANY FORM, BY MIMEOGRAPH OR ANY
OTHER MEANS, WITHOUT PERMISSION
IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHERS.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
To Leo Ryan and Joey Thomas, my first boxing trainers
in Minneapolis; to George Barton, a great boxing writer
and one of the grand men of sports who taught me the
values of boxing; to Vem Woodward, my valued boxing
associate; to all the superb boxing athletes against whom
I have participated; to the fine young men I have coached
at St. Thomas college, at the University of Wisconsin,
on the 1948 United States Olympic team, and in the
To the many thousands of loyal, enthusiastic collegiate
boxing fans of Wisconsin, and to our sportswriters who
all shared in and made possible a successful boxing pro-
gram at the University of Wisconsin. This book is
dedicated to each of you for your all-important assistance.
It is my sincere hope that this book will help make it
possible for other coaches and boxers to enjoy the great
sport of boxing and to benefit from it as fully and richly
as I have.
It was March 21, 1933, and the University of Wisconsin
was engaging in its first intercollegiate boxing match. Its
opponent was St. Thomas of St. Paul, and the coach of the
St. Thomas team was a spindly kid with the face of a choir
boy, who was a student there.
The spindly kid who was handling St. Thomas was
John J. Walsh, and the way he handled that team con-
vinced the late George Downer that he was just the man
Downer, a former Milwaukee sports editor who had
taken over as director of athletic publicity at Wisconsin,
had a deep interest in boxing, and he had much to do
with promoting the sport.
Walsh came to Wisconsin as head boxing coach in 1934,
and some of the boys he coached were older than he was.
But Walsh was one of those natural teachers, a genial,
friendly fellow who still could command the respect of
his pupils. Not only could he command their respect, he
had the knack of keeping them interested, and he had
the ability to impart his knowledge to them.
The result has been a happy one for Walsh and for the
University of Wisconsin. He received his law degree
from the university and is a successful and respected
practicing attorney. Furthermore, he is the most successful
boxing coach in college history.
Successful? Take a look at a few of his accomplishments:
There have been 13 National Collegiate Athletic Associ-
ation (N. C. A. A.) tournaments, and Wisconsin has won
the team championship in five of the 10 meets it entered.
Wisconsin has won 24 individual championships, eight
more than the next closest school.
Walsh's 1943 team won five of the eight N. C. A. A.
individual championships in 1943 and won four out of
eight in 1939 and 1942; no other school has ever won
more than three in any one tournament.
Of the 17 teams he has coached at Wisconsin — he was
with the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater for a time
in World War II — nine have gone through a dual meet
season undefeated and untied, and three others had records
marred only by a tie.
His 1938-39-40 teams ran up a string of 18 straight vic-
tories; following a defeat in 1940, Walsh's Badger teams
of 1940-41-42-43-44 ran up a string of 24 straight triumphs.
That was bettered when his 1946-47-48-49 teams chalked
up 26 straight victories.
Bespeaking the popularity of Walsh’s Wisconsin boxing
teams is the fact that they have drawn as high as 70,200
for five matches at home, that Wisconsin has broken all
attendance records upon the four occasions that it has
been host to the N. C. A. A. tournament, the all-time mark
of 59,800 being set in 1948.
He was co-coach of the 1948 United States Olympic
boxing team. He has been identified with many of the
safety factors that have been introduced into intercollegiate
That's a capsule history of the fellow who first saw the
University of Wisconsin as the undergraduate coach of
a team that met the Badgers in their first intercollegiate
The association of Wisconsin and Walsh has been
Henry J. McCormick,
State Journal Sports Editor.
Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and
to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable
competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John
Walsh's boxing instruction book.
No one in the United States today can equal John's
record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly
regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and
the practice of law John was one of the most successful
college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever
The soundness of his instruction is impressively at-
tested to by the feats of his University of Wisconsin boxing
team in going nine years without loss to a collegiate rival in
a dual meet.
In this book John sets forth clearly and concisely the
principles of successful boxing just as he has imparted
them for years to boxing classes, members of his fabulously
successful Wisconsin team, and United States Olympic
Team boxers whom he has coached. These pages are
commendably free of unproven theory. Everything ex-
pounded by John is based on long-proven fact.
This book will prove a tremendous aid to boxers and
coaches alike. I am particularly enthusiastic about the
manner in which John dispels quaint and absurd miscon-
ceptions about amateur boxing. This book is not only
a masterful teaching instrument, but also a convincing
selling medium for the sport.
Athletic directors in schools, military establishments,
clubs, churches, and communities would do well to study
the pages that follow. No one doing so could deny boxing
its rightful place in any well-rounded athletic or physical
The Chicago Tribune
1 Introduction 1
2 Equipment 5
3 Necessary Precautions 9
4 Early Conditioning 12
5 Proper Workouts 14
6 Preparation, Care, and Use of the Hands 18
7 Fundamentals of Boxing 22
8 Practice Routines and Suggestions 30
9 The Left Hook 38
10 Punch Variations 45
11 Scouting Future Opponents 49
12 Boxing Tips 51
13 Father-Son Instruction 58
14 Boxing as a Summer Community Recreation Project 64
APPENDIX: The Wisconsin Report 83
The following chapters deal with organized and
supervised boxing as conducted today in colleges, high
schools, and recreational centers. They are in no way
concerned with professional fighting, with which amateur
boxing should at no time be confused.
Professional fighting is a business conducted for mone-
tary gain. Amateur boxing is a competitive sport or recrea-
tion. These distinctions should be kept in mind at all
We are directing our instructions, advice, and sugges-
tions to the coach supervising boxers individually or in
groups; to the boy who, motivated by a desire for com-
petitive or recreational activity, wishes to learn the fun-
damentals of boxing; and also to the father who acquiesces
to the urge to teach his son the art of boxing.
We intend to be very fundamental in our approach, and
thus to enable even an inexperienced coach to put across
readily an effective instructional program to his boys. We
want to make it possible for the boy to whom personal
supervision is unavailable to teach himself. We also hope
to save the father lacking in boxing experience the igno-
miny of receiving a "shiner" as he attempts on bended
knees to impart to his son the principles of the "manly art."
We believe that too often the fundamentals of boxing
are overlooked in favor of complicated punches, series of
maneuvers, and fancy footwork. Just as fundamentals
such as tackling and blocking pay off in football, so it is
the properly executed left jab, straight right, and an occa-
sional left hook that bring victory in the boxing ring.
Experience has proven that the methods of teaching
and learning boxing employed throughout this book are
just as adaptable to youngsters as they are to boys of high
school and college age. We have found through years of
work with "kid" classes that lads of seven to twelve years
are often more adaptable to these methods than their older
brothers who may have acquired erroneous ways which
must be righted.
My personal enthusiasm for amateur boxing stems from
my experience with the hundreds of fine young men with
whom I have worked as a boxer, as coach at the University
of Wisconsin, while in service with the Marines, and as a
coach of the United States Olympic team. They have been
the sons of poor men and rich men; they have come from
the big cities and from the farm; they have ranged in
weight from 90 pounds to 250 pounds; some have been
timid, others bold; many had never boxed before. They
have in no way been "typed." And when our active asso-
ciation as student and teacher ended each boy without
exception was the richer for his experiences. Not a single
boy has borne a mark that might not just as well have
been inflicted in a sliding accident, in a friendly scuffle,
in an accidental fall, in a football game, or in a basketball
contest. And the poise, coordination, confidence, physical
conditioning, and competitive experiences gained were
apparent without exception. Many of these boys have
since become lawyers, doctors, teachers, or businessmen.
One of our own Wisconsin boys — Woody Swancutt,
who was a two-time national collegiate champion — distin-
guished himself as a B-29 pilot over Japan and was later
selected in competition with thousands of others seeking
the honor to pilot the plane dropping the first test atom
bomb at Bikini. Woody's foremost rival in college — Hes-
ton Daniels of Louisiana State University — flew one of the
United States Army planes participating in General Doo-
little's first raid over Tokyo. Here again the pilots were
carefully selected from among the finest physical and men-
tal specimens in the United States Army Air Force. The
famed and great Jimmie Doolittle himself first gained
prominence as an amateur boxing champion.
A Captain of Navy Air personnel who was in a large
measure responsible for the selection of candidates for
Naval Aviation placed boxing number one on the list
of sports that best qualify a boy to be a pilot. He attributed
this to the splendid coordination; to the lightning-fast
timing and sharp reflexes; to the superb physical condi-
tion; and to the "will to win," or competitive spirit, devel-
oped in a well-supervised boxing program.
Amateur boxing today is receiving its most significant
endorsement from the many great educational institutions
who sponsor the sport at the intercollegiate competitive
level. Among them are the United States Military Acad-
emy, the University of California, Stanford University,
the University of California at Los Angeles, the University
of Santa Clara, Washington State College, Idaho Univer-
sity, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wis-
consin, Syracuse University, Penn State College, Michigan
State College, the University of Virginia, Louisiana State
University, the University of North Carolina, the Uni-
versity of South Carolina, and Miami University of Florida.
Among notably successful smaller colleges are San Jose
State and Gonzaga University whose boxing teams con-
sistently rank high nationally.
Colleges and universities that do not conduct boxing
activities at least at the intramural level are in the very
The sport is very successfully conducted at the public
high school level in Virginia, Louisiana, Washington, and
Proper equipment is a "must" in any boxing program.
A capable, qualified coach would not send a boy on the
football field without proper shoulder pads or headgear.
Yet, I have seen high school boxers use worn-out gloves
and a makeshift mat with no canvas cover; and I have
known of boys who have not been provided with alumi-
num cups. This is absolute false economy, and should not
Proper mouthpieces, well-padded headgears, and hand-
wraps should be available for all contestants in a boxing
program. It is advisable to have high-topped boxing
shoes, but where economy is a factor, light-weight basket-
ball shoes will suffice.
All equipment should be properly maintained, both
for the safety of the boy and for reasons of economy.
In comparison with most other sports, boxing is inex-
pensive to conduct, and can be very profitable financially.
After the initial outlay for the ring, punching bag, and
gloves, additional purchases are minor in nature. Upkeep
is incidental. Many high schools in the states of Louisiana,
Washington, Virginia, and Wisconsin are now showing a
larger profit from boxing than from any other sport. In
numerous colleges boxing receipts are second only to those
derived from football. We do not wish to convey the
impression that we suggest boxing only because of the
profit motive. But we do wish to show that the sport
needn't be conducted at a financial loss to the school.
We strongly urge that the rules and regulations regard-
ing equipment as laid down in the N.C.A.A. Boxing Guide
by the National Collegiate Athletic Association boxing
committee for colleges be carefully studied and followed.
These recommendations have been drawn up with the
welfare of the boxer in mind. All contestants as well as
coaches should familiarize themselves with the contents.
Under these rules a ring is required on which the padding
extends over the edge for added protection. All turn-
buckles must be padded and the ropes wrapped with flan-
nel or gauze. The mat should be at least two inches thick,
with a tight canvas cover on top. All bouts and meets must
be fought in a regulation ring. Remember, accidents are
caused only by laxity and carelessness.
Hand bandages should be worn at all times by con-
testants in both practice sessions and actual bouts. The
details of bandaging will be covered in a later chapter.
Regular gauze of two-inch width is recommended for
actual bouts, but regular ankle-wrapping or similar mate-
rial is satisfactory for practice sessions.
Rubber mouthpieces are another essential for all boxers.
They are inexpensive. You will find the investment a wise
one. It is certainly much cheaper than the dental work
which may be required when no mouthpiece is used. The
mouthpiece will eliminate practically all teeth injuries and
mouth lacerations which are caused by the lip coming in
contact with an irregular tooth. Many boxers find it advis-
able to secure a mouthpiece made from an actual impres-
sion. This is desirable even though expensive.
In the purchase of boxing gloves be sure to avoid false
economy. A good glove should be purchased initially.
The end result will actually be less expensive. A cheap
glove bunches up and does not give the proper protec-
tion to the boy who is hit. Do not work the padding in a
glove. This breaks up the padding and makes it lumpy.
Grease the leather with vaseline at least twice a week.
Boxing gloves should always be hung up to dry after being
used. Make sure they never touch the floor. The grease
on the leather will pick up dirt. This, when rubbed
against the skin, may cause infection. Also because of
possible infection, the ring ropes should be kept clean
and well-padded. For high schools a 12-ounce glove should
be used up through the 132-pound class, and a 14-ounce
glove at all weights above. For training purposs 16-ounce
and 18-ounce gloves should be used. A glove especially
designed for high schools and colleges is on the market. In
it more padding has been placed over the hitting surface.
A web extends between the thumb and the forefinger. Use
of this new glove has practically eliminated face or eye
cuts, and has greatly reduced the frequency of knockouts.
Do not use gloves designated for actual competition for
practice sessions. Only comparatively new gloves should
be used for actual bouts.
Use a regulation ring during all practice sessions. Punch-
ing bag stands for the light bag, and a few training bags
for heavy punching should also be available. Jumping-
ropes are standard equipment in any boxing gymnasium.
Once you have obtained the proper equipment as listed
above your instructional job can get under way. This
involves thorough physical conditioning, plus stress on
the fundamentals of boxing.
The rules make a headgear compulsory for all actual
matches. This headgear is specially designed and is tenned
a "competitive headgear." It is lighter in weight than
the headgear used in training, but affords the same amount
of protection to the eyes and ears. It also includes extra
padding at the base of the skull as protection for a boxer
on the rare occasions when his head hits the canvas as he
falls. It has been definitely ascertained that many injuries
incurred in the professional field have not resulted from
a blow, but rather from falling to an improperly-padded
ring floor. The competitive headgear with its ample
padding is another precaution to avoid possible injuries
of this nature.
In boxing, as in any other contact sport, close super-
vision is imperative to avoid unnecessary accidents.
In virtually every high school and college or university
in the United States a boy intending to compete in basket-
ball or football must have a certificate of physical fitness.
The same precaution must be taken for a boy who wishes
Make-shift facilities are to be carefully avoided. A well-
padded ring enclosed properly by ropes is an absolute
essential. Never permit boys to box where there is a
chance of falling to a hard floor or against objects which
might injure them. Follow closely the specifications set
forth in the N.C.A.A. rule book, which you should obtain
and read in detail.
Worn-out or broken-down boxing gloves should never
be used, both for the protection of the hands and avoid-
ance of unnecessary bruising.
Every coach should insist that his boys wear headgears,
mouthpieces, and protective cups at each boxing workout.
Permit no exceptions. If a mouthpiece slips out, or a
headgear becomes improperly adjusted, time should be
called to replace the mouthpiece or to properly adjust the
headgear. To overlook these details is to be remiss in your
duty as a coach or supervisor.
No boy should ever be allowed to box even a single
round without properly bandaged hands. A bruised
thumb could readily handicap him for an entire season,
and permanent injury might also result.
We firmly adhere to a rule providing that no candidate
for our team may actually box except in the presence of
and under the supervision of one of the coaches. Only
by this method can the coach make sure that boys of equal
ability, experience, and physical proportions are matched
against one another. It is a grave mistake to permit boys
to pair off indiscriminately as boxing partners.
All rule books, whether for amateur boxing or profes-
sional fighting, provide that a doctor be in attendance at
ringside. We don't want to convey the impression that
this is necessary because of any dangers inherent in boxing.
It is a precautionary measure that is also taken in all prop-
erly supervised contact sports contests. Virtually every high
school or college conducting a competitive sports program
has an M.D. who is designated as the "team physician."
Call on this man to examine carefully each boxing team
candidate before he actively engages in the sport; have
him observe the boy at any time you have reason to sus-
pect any injury or illness; and require that each boy
undergo examination the day of a match. This is an added
precaution which eliminates the possibility of a boy who
is sub-par because of illness exposing himself unnecessarily
to possible injury.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association Boxing
Guide has been carefully and thoroughly prepared. If you
will conscientiously digest and follow all rules and provi-
sions contained therein, you will be fulfilling your duty
as a coach.
All boxing team candidates answering the coach's
first call should be expected to report in good enough
condition so that they can go at top speed in workouts.
Early conditioning ideally consists of road work at least
three times weekly for one month prior to the first squad
drills. The candidate should be informed that the heavy
roadwork is done before the season begins, and for a time
immediately thereafter. Only infrequent roadwork sessions
are necessary once the boxers have attained the proper
physical condition. This means actually that during the
regular competitive season the boys do not have to devote
as much time to conditioning routines as they did before-
hand. They become increasingly engrossed in the details
that fit into the mechanics and strategy of the game. Dur-
ing this process boxing becomes more a fascinating recrea-
tion, and less a dull routine.
There are many theories on how to do road work. Some
advocate the long tedious grinds of three to five miles.
I have always contended, and followed the theory, that the
long grinds possibly are necessary preparation only for the
10 to 15 rounds of professional fighting. For the high
school or college boy, or any other amateur who will box
three one-minute or two-minute rounds, running short
distances, with wind sprints, will better prepare him for
his type of contest. During the month previous to the
regular practice sessions he may increase his stamina and
physical condition by jogging, preferably outdoors, for
approximately one minute and 45 seconds, and then sprint-
ing at top speed for 15 seconds. He should walk the next
minute, thereby catching his wind, and repeat the per-
formance. He should go through this routine about six
times the first day of road work; then increase to 10 or
12 times when his condition warrants it. At the end of
the first month of such road work, if he is a high school
boxer and boxing only one-minute rounds, he should
change to jogging 45 seconds, next sprinting at top speed
for 15 seconds, then walking a minute, and repeat. My
theory and reasoning are that a boy should do his road
work in accordance with the length of the rounds he boxes,
and in the manner in which he boxes. In an average
round, a boy is sparring around for an opening (this cor-
responds to the jogging) ; the opening is found and the
gloves are thrown fast and furious for 10 or 15 seconds
(this corresponds to the sprints). Some boys find it more
to their liking to measure their distances in blocks rather
than by time. They will jog a third of a block, sprint a
third of a block, then walk the last third, repeating this
each block. I have found both methods successful and
can promise that boys following either of them will be
fit to go three fast rounds.
Just what constitutes "proper workouts" is one of
boxing's most controversial topics. I refer now to work-
outs just before the regular season and during the actual
season, after the boys have become physically conditioned
by plenty of early road work, and have drilled upon and
thoroughly mastered the fundamentals.
Many of my college coaching friends believe in long
workouts of 10 to 12 three-minute rounds each day, even
though college-boxing rounds are two minutes. Under
the same theory, they believe in working high school boys
rounds of two minutes each, even though training for
bouts of one-minute rounds. Their argument is that, if
a boy can go the longer distance, he will be much better
over the shorter distance during the actual contests, and
that psychologically he will feel better.
It has always been my contention that a boy in training
should box rounds the exact length of those he will box
competitively — workouts of two-minute rounds for college
boys, and one minute for high school boys. My theory is
that if a boy trains via longer rounds he develops a dif-
ferent pacing; he slows down the action; and during a
regular bout he does not know how to time himself prop-
erly. He will not go "all out" as is necessary in one- and
two-minute rounds. We have found it best for condition-
ing purposes if the boy moves fast and is on the go during
the entire shorter round.
A typical workout, once the boy is in good physical
condition and his legs are in shape, would be the following:
First Round — Shadow boxing. Loosening up. Warming
the muscles. Trying all the punches.
Second, Third, and Fourth Rounds — Boxing, working
hard and fast during the rounds. Complete relaxation
Fifth Round — Shadow boxing. Catching the wind, and
getting the heart back to normal rhythm and beat. Figur-
ing out which punches worked best; which ones did not
work; and the reasons for their failure.
Sixth Round — Punching the light punching bag. Excel-
lent for sharpening the eyes, learning to keep the hands
high, and becoming adept at punching fast.
Seventh Round — More punching on the light punching
bag, or on the heavy sand bag.
Finish up with light body exercise and dash right into
It may be seen from the preceding that I am an advo-
cate of a short, fast workout instead of a long, dragged-out
one. I have always believed that a boy gets into better
condition for a short three-round bout by short, snappy
workouts of six to seven rounds. The boys, furthermore,
enjoy the shorter workouts and will work harder than if
the workouts are prolonged and become monotonous.
There must be no loafing from bell to bell. Maintain top
speed all the way.
The preceding workout schedule is recommended for
the heavy training prior to a bout. If preparatory to
matches on a Friday night, the workouts as listed would
be followed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The
workout on Thursday, assuming it to be the day before
the bout, would consist of the following:
First Round — shadow-boxing and loosening up.
Second Round — striking the light punching bag.
Third Round — punching the heavy sand bag.
Fourth Round — finishing up with light, loose body
exercises. Then immediately take a shower.
The purpose behind such a light workout the day prior
to a match is to have the boxer conserve all his energy
for the forthcoming bout.
Friday's preparation would be as follows: Light break-
fast, extent of which depends on the weight problem.
Weighing in (time designated under the rules is usually
at least six hours before the match begins). Immediately
after the weigh-in period the boxer eats his full meal. It
is important that the meal be eaten approximately six
hours before the bouts in order to allow sufficient time
for the food to digest properly. All athletes are normally
excited on the day of a contest, hence their food requires
longer to digest. A typical pre-bout meal would be as
follows: fruit juice, head lettuce salad (French dressing
optional), a good-sized tenderloin or T-bone steak, broiled
or grilled medium rare or medium, according to indi-
vidual taste (it should never be well done), buttered toast
including honey if desired, and a fresh fruit cup dessert.
Tea is preferable, but a single cup of coffee is permissible
if the individual does not like tea.
Our boys take a walk of approximately 20 minutes im-
mediately after the meal; then go to their rooms to rest
until the time comes to leave for the matches.
Most boys can sleep, but those who cannot should at
least lie in bed and read. Some boys prefer a movie during
the interim to take their minds off the bout ahead, but
bed rest is advisable.
The boys, upon arriving at the dressing room the eve-
ning of the bouts, should be made to relax as much as
possible right up to the time for their individual bouts.
It is a good practice while taping the boy's hands to quickly
review with him the style of the boxer he is meeting, and to
emphasize the strong and weak points of both your boxer
and his opponent. Excepting this last-minute advice, the
boy will gain more by complete relaxation than by think-
ing about the forthcoming match.
Once these preparations have been made, it is up to the
boy to do his best. It is the coach's duty to advise him
properly as his second during the one-minute rest period
Preparation, Care, and
Use of the Hands
A BOXER WITH A BAD HAND IS JUST AS INEFFECTIVE AS A
left halfback with a bad ankle.
Let me stress here that a boy without bandages on his
hands should never box or hit a bag.
The following procedure for bandaging is proper: Place
hand outstretched with the back of the hand facing up,
and fingers spread apart at least half an inch. This is very
important to assure that the bandage will not be too tight
when the fist is closed. A loop made in one end of the
bandage should be slipped over the thumb. Start the
bandage high on the wrist and wrap it fairly tight, to
minimize bending of the wrist when the boxer strikes.
(See Illustration 1.) Wrap the bandages over the back
of the bones (metacarpals) between the knuckles and the
wrist almost down to the first joint of the fingers. Make
at least three loops over the thumb to fully protect the
big joint of the thumb (Illustrations 2 and 3).
The boxer should open and close his fist three or four
PREPARATION, CARE, AND USE OF THE HANDS
times during the wrapping so that the bandages will be
neither too tight nor too loose (Illustration 3).
Let me emphasize the importance of taking proper
care of the wrists, bones of the hands, and the thumbs.
Most important is proper bandaging of the backs of the
hands, rather than the knuckles. Many people mistakenly
consider the latter proper and adequate protection.
In preparation for a regular match use surgical gauze for
bandages, as shown in the illustrations. Up to 10 yards
is necessary, depending upon the size of the boy's hands.
For training sessions, ankle wraps cut in five-yard lengths,
elastic bandages, or even carpet binding, are satisfactory.
A hole in one end to slip over the thumb, and a split at
the other end for tying purposes will do the trick. The
boys should straighten out their bandages after each ses-
sion and hang them up in their lockers to dry.
The Correct Position of the Hand When Hitting
Proper hand-bandaging minimizes hand injuries, but
the coach must still teach his boys how to hit properly to
further avoid all possible injuries. Once a boxer learns to
hit properly, he is rarely troubled by hand injuries. When
starting either a left jab or a right cross, point the four
knuckles of both hands outward, and the thumb knuckle
upward (Illustration 4). When the left jab or right cross
lands, the finger knuckles should be pointing upward,
and the thumb knuckle inward (Illustration 5) . This is a
very important point and cannot be stressed too strongly.
At the start of a left hook, the finger knuckles are point-
ing outward, and the thumb knuckle upward, as shown in
Illustration 4. When the left hook lands, the knuckles are
PREPARATION, CARE, AND USE OF THE HANDS
turned inward to the right, but the thumb knuckle must
remain pointing upward. In other words, with both the
left jab and right cross there is a sort of corkscrew twist
from start to finish. (Illustrations 4-5.) This is not true
with the hook. In the execution of a hook, the thumb
knuckle starts and finishes pointing upward (Illustration
6). In this connection, note Illustration 7 (the wrong
way to land a left hook).
I always insist that boxers I am coaching keep their fists
closed from bell to bell. No high school, college, or ama-
teur boxer has enough experience to keep his gloves half
open until the moment of contact. A boy trying this will,
at some time or other, miss on his timing and a hand injury
may result. He should at all times make an "even fist,"
meaning all knuckles should be even across (no knuckle
protruding) when the first is closed (note Illustration 4).
When the fist lands, see to it that all four knuckles make
contact at the same time, both for the sake of safety and
for maximum striking power (see Illustration 5).
Another rule, an important one for proper hitting, is:
never bend the wrist when hitting. Many boys make this
mistake, particularly when throwing a hook. Make this
a hard and fast rule: keep the forearm rigid from the
knuckles of the closed fist up to the elbow. If your boys
remember this rule they will have better hitting power
and no sprained wrists (note Illustration 8).
I deem it all-important to bring a boy along step-by-step.
Each step is contingent upon the previous one. If a boy
is not in condition he will likely lose to an inferior boxer
who has been properly conditioned. Hence the stress on
road work. Your boxer may have a "Mike Gibbons" left
PREPARATION, CARE, AND USE OF THE HANDS
hand, and a "Joe Louis" right, but ignorance of how to
wrap his hands properly or hit correctly may nullify this
punching ability. I again stress the fact that boxing is
not a difficult sport to master. The basic fundamentals,
when well executed, are sufficient to assure frequent
Fundamentals of Boxing
The On-Guard Position
I wish to stress in detail the all-important stance,
or what we will call the "on-guard" position. When a
boxer slides out from his corner at the sound of the bell,
a trained eye can immediately ascertain the degree of his
ability by the on-guard position he assumes. The boxer
trained correctly will advance to the center of the ring
and fall instinctively into a proper on-guard position, if
his coach has stressed each fundamental that goes to make
up that vital stance.
All punches are thrown from the on-guard position. The
boxer must assume the on-guard position again at the finish
of each punch with all possible rapidity. This procedure
is necessary for proper deception. Thus the stance must
be mastered at the beginning. With all punches starting
from the same stance, naturally an opponent has difficulty
guessing whether the punch will be a left jab to the head
or body, a left hook to the head or body, a double left
hook to the body and head, or a jab followed by a hook.
If the boxer changes his stance or ann positions each time
he throws a different punch, his opponent will soon catch
on and meet him with a counter.
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
Illustrations 9 through 18 minutely follow the "musts"
necessary to a proper on-guard position.
In Illustration 9, note that the hands are down; the fists
properly closed; and the feet parallel to each other.
Illustration 10: The boxer should slide the left foot for-
ward to a position that is comfortable to him. Some boxers
prefer to keep their feet closer together than others, hence
no set number of inches should be stipulated. The spacing
is determined by the size of the boy, and by what he finds
most comfortable. Two points, however, must be stressed.
If the boy's feet are too close together (Illustration 11),
or if the right foot is placed directly or almost directly
in a line back of the left foot, he can be tipped off balance
very easily with a left jab (Illustration 12). To remedy
this, have the boxer, after assuming his foot position, bend
his body and swing from left to right to determine whether
or not he has proper balance and a steady stance (Illustra-
tion 13). Give him a light, quick push backward. If he
falls off balance, he has not assumed a solid foot position.
One further point should be stressed. If the boxer's feet
are placed too far apart, he will have to stretch too great
a distance for a right-hand shot at his opponent (Illustra-
Illustration 15: Note that the chin is down and to the
left, and that the shoulder is up. Stress the fact that the
chin does not go all the way down to meet the shoulder,
nor does the shoulder come all the way up. They meet
halfway. The shoulder is raised an inch or two, and the
chin is dropped an inch or two. One of a coach's biggest
jobs is to convince a boy that his chin must be kept down,
or he may find himself on the canvas. I have had national
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
champions, who, after four years of college boxing, still
made the mistake of dropping their shoulders and putting
their chins up. We have a "Chin-Up-and-Hands-Down"
Club, and we choose new members after seeing the motion
pictures of the previous week's match. We find, at times,
that some of our best boys are making this mistake. A
big "Tag Me" sign, presented each week to the boxer
who holds his chin up the highest, is another good re-
minder that the boxer must keep the chin down and
shoulder up if he is to remain upright for the three
Illustration 16: A boxer should bring his left fist up,
but not so high that it obstructs his vision, nor so low
that he enables his opponent to slip across a sharp right
hand. The fist is shown in proper position in Illustra-
tion 4. The finger knuckles point outward, the thumb
knuckle upward. The elbow is bent and the fist is not
too close to the face, since this calls for too long a stretch
to land a jab. The fist should not be extended too far,
because the arm tires quickly in that unnatural position.
Some distance must be left between the fist and point of
impact to make possible putting "sting" into the jab. The
elbow should be kept in close to the body, affording pro-
tection to the left side. The entire arm and shoulder must
be loose and relaxed so that the boxer will be able to snap
or whip out the jabs in rapier-like thrusts.
Illustration 17: This is the complete and proper on-
guard position, side view. The right forearm and fist are
up. The right fist should be at about the level of the
chin so that the boxer is in position to catch his opponent's
left jabs. The right elbow is kept close to the body, pro-
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
tecting the right side and kidneys. The forearm protects
the solar plexus (a good place to hit, but not to be hit),
and the fist protects the chin.
Illustration 18: The correct on-guard position, front
view. The left foot is forward — not too close, not too far
away; nor is the right foot directly behind the left. The
chin is down, the shoulder is up. The fists are clenched,
the elbows are in, and the thumb knuckles are pointing
upward. The right elbow is covering the right side, the
foreann is protecting the solar plexus, and the fist is guard-
ing the chin.
Note also that the right shoulder is pulled backward,
thus not giving the opponent as much body space to shoot
at. This position also places the left ann and fist within
closer striking range of the opponent.
A coach should spend all the time necessary to enable
his boys to master each fundamental of the on-guard posi-
tion. These fundamentals must be drilled into them so
that they will mechanically fall into this position without
giving it a thought. The boys may gather around in a
circle and at the command "on-guard," hop into position,
hold it, wait for corrections of any mistakes noticed by
the coach, then at a command, relax. This should be done
over and over again until the position becomes second
nature. I have experimented with boys from seven to ten
years of age and have found that they become letter-perfect
in all the fundamentals of the on-guard position, from all
angles, and retain the position when boxing. It should be
stressed that all punches start and finish from the on-guard
position. It must, therefore, be learned correctly.
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
The Left Jab
"The most important offensive and defensive punch is
the left jab." No truer words were ever spoken. How
often have we seen a smart boxer with just a left jab,
and practically no right hand, beat a tough, rugged boy
with a devastating right by using the left jab offensively
to pile up points and defensively to keep the puncher away,
and off balance. Very seldom does a boxer with an edu-
cated left hand get hit by a hard right hand. The reason
is simple. Your left jab has to travel only a third as far as
your opponent's right to land on the chin. Naturally, if
both punches start together, the left lands first. Often the
left jabber catches his opponent's right shoulder to stop
a right hand traveling in his direction. This often is dan-
gerous, however, unless the boy has a very speedy left jab.
A coach may teach his boys many punches, fancy or
otherwise, but there is no punch in any boxer’s repertoire
that will do him more good than a left jab. Let's go to
work on it, and be sure that we properly impress the value
of the left jab from the very start.
Illustration 19: The start of the left jab from the on-
guard position (we repeat that all punches start and finish
from the on-guard position).
Illustration 20 shows the finish. The jab has been
snapped across, not pushed. The fist has changed from the
position in which the thumb knuckle is up (Illustration 4)
to the position in which the thumb knuckle is pointing
inward (Illustration 5). This was accomplished by twist-
ing the arm as the blow was traveling forward. Note that,
at the time of landing the jab, the chin is tucked down and
the shoulder is curved around the chin as a protective
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
covering. This is a natural result of twisting the arm as
the jab is thrown. A coach should show his boys the dif-
ference between a left jab that is just pushed across with
the thumb knuckle up, and a proper jab that is snapped
across by twisting the fist and turning the shoulder to
protect the chin.
Illustration 2 1 shows the wrong way for a boxer to bring
his left hand back after delivering a left jab. Dropping
the left hand after a jab is one of the surest ways I know
of to lose a bout, yet it is among the most common mis-
takes made by boxers, whether youngsters, high school
boys, college men, or professionals. As stressed before,
all punches start and finish from the on-guard position 1
This means the left hand is brought back high and kept
high to offset a right-hand counter (Illustrations 17 and
18). Just as important as knowing how to deliver a left
jab is knowing how to come back into position with the
left hand high.
Illustration 22: If his opponent is dropping his left hand
after a jab, a boxer should ride back with the blow as
demonstrated in this illustration, then come in with a
straight right as shown in Illustration 23. We find that
next to keeping their chins down our boys experience their
greatest difficulty in remembering to keep their left
Illustration 24: A properly-thrown jab, with the chin
down and the shoulder up, protects the jabber from a cross-
over, or an overhand right. If the left jab is slow the over-
hand right is sometimes an effective counter. With the
chin down, even if the punch lands, it is ineffective, for
it lands high on the head.
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
The Right Cross
The punch next to the left jab in effectiveness is the
potent right cross. This is naturally a harder blow because
of the distance it travels, but unless thrown correctly, it
is ineffective against a good boxer. The average boy learn-
ing to box depends too much on the right hand, and unless
cautioned immediately, becomes right-hand crazy. The
question most often asked regarding the right hand is,
"When should I throw it?" Invariably the boy who asks
the question says he hesitates and is not sure of his right
hand. I say forget about when or how to throw it. Anyone
who has practiced diligently on the proper delivery of the
right hand will instinctively whip it across at the proper
time in a bout. A boxer must not hesitate when throwing
the right. If he thinks he has the opening he should let
it fly, and not be half-hearted about it. Even if the right
misses it puts the other man on the defense. A right should
be thrown from the on-guard position, and not tele-
Illustration 25 shows the start of the right cross. Illus-
tration 26 shows the finish.
Note that the start is made from the regular on-guard
position. The finish is accomplished by twisting the fist
from the position in which the thumb knuckle is up, to
that in which the thumb knuckle points inward (to the
left). The shoulder curves over the chin for protection,
and the chin is down. Note also that, when the right hand
lands, the left is drawn back for the opponent’s counter,
if any. The rule is "One hand out, one hand back." When
the left hand is punching, the right is back, and vice-versa.
This is done, not only for an expected counter, but also
FUNDAMENTALS OF BOXING
so the boxer will be in position to throw the second
Illustration 27 shows the wrong way to deliver the right
cross. Never draw the right hand back before delivery.
For effectiveness and deception the right cross must be
thrown from the regular on-guard position. The form of
telegraphing shown in the illustration immediately tells
the opponent what to expect. Never lift the right cross
up before it is thrown. This is another common form of
The right cross is a very effective blow if delivered in
the manner shown in Illustrations 25 and 26. Remember:
(1) the boxer must not hesitate when throwing it; (2) he
must not telegraph it by drawing it back or lifting it up;
(3) it must be snapped in, sharp and clean; (4) the left
hand must be drawn back; (5) the chin must be down and
the shoulder up.
Practice Routines and
I HAVE ALREADY SUGGESTED THAT THE COACH PLACE ALL
his boxers in a circle around himself while teaching the
phases of the important on-guard position. We find that
such mass instruction at the outset is much more bene-
ficial than having the boys pair off immediately with gloves
on. The time allotted to each athlete for this exercise
should be determined by the amount of previous training
he has had.
Once you have arranged your pupils around you as sug-
gested, have each one go through the motions of each
fundamental by following your example. Through this
procedure you place the rank beginner on a par with the
boxer who has had some experience. Knowing he has had
the same instruction as those with whom he is working
gives the beginner needed confidence when he puts on
the gloves and gets into contact work.
Employ this method while teaching the on-guard posi-
tion, left jab, right cross, left and right to the body, and
the left hook.
After this practice procedure in which they punch at the
air with bare hands, have the boys put on gloves, pair off,
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
and go through the routine with one boy punching, the
other blocking. The methods will be illustrated later.
After the boys master the technique and necessary fun-
damentals of the left jab and right cross, the natural fol-
low-up is the one-two punch. It is merely the left jab
followed immediately by the right cross, or Number One
followed by Number Two in rapid succession.
We now assume that the boxers have familiarized them-
selves with all the various punches through the mass
instructions and are paired off and getting the actual con-
tact instruction. Boys pairing off against one another
should be about the same size and have the same arm
lengths. A southpaw and right hander should not work
Practicing the Left Jab
Both boys are in the regular on-guard position (Illus-
tration 28). Stress here again that all punches start from
and finish in the all-important on-guard position. Chang-
ing positions with the start of a new punch spoils decep-
tion. When punches begin from on-guard position the
opponent does not know whether a left, a right, a jab, or
a hook is coming.
In Illustration 29 both boys are simultaneously throwing
left jabs to the jaw. This is excellent practice since both
boys learn the block as well as the punch. Note that the
heads have rolled a bit to the right, and the right hands
have caught the left jabs just a few inches from the chins,
but the right gloves still do not come into contact with
the faces. Frequently a boxer makes the mistake of holding
his right glove against his face. This is wrong as he receives
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
part of the impact in blocking a blow. Also guard against
the mistake of instinctively reaching out with the right
glove to block a jab. If this error is made, the opponent
(white trunks) may feint with a left jab, and then follow
with a left hook as shown in Illustration 30. This can be
a disastrous error. Have your boys draw back into the on-
guard position, practicing the blow and block. Stress again
and again that, after the jab, the arm comes straight back,
thereby offsetting a possible right-hand counter. It is not
dropped as in Illustration 2 1 .
Practicing the Right Cross
From the on-guard position (Illustration 31) the
blocker (white trunks) for convenience lowers his left
arm to give the puncher (dark trunks) practice in landing
the right cross (Illustration 32). Note that the puncher
follows straight through. His left hand is back protecting,
and also in position to punch. Always, one hand out, one
hand back. The puncher draws back into the on-guard
position. Go through the entire motion, again and again.
Note that the blocker has caught the right cross with
his right glove and has rolled away from the blow. His
left shoulder is carried high as an added precaution. When
practicing this step the blocker tends to roll or pull too
far away from the puncher. This is wrong, because in an
actual bout he will not have so much time to roll with
the blow. Therefore, practice the block just as it will be
used in a bout. Again note that the blocker does not
carry his glove against his face, nor does he reach out for
the right cross. The two boxers paired off for this practice
should change from offense to defense occasionally, so that
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
both get practice in blocking as well as in punching. Im-
press upon your boys that it is just as important to learn
to block as it is to learn to punch.
Counter for the Right Cross
I stated that the blocker (white trunks), for convenience
in practice, drops his left arm. In an actual bout he would
keep his left high and counter a right hand by a left jab
to the shoulder of the original puncher (dark trunks) as
in Illustration 33, or by a jab to the jaw. Emphasize that
a good jabber can beat a right-hand puncher nine times
out of ten. The left hand travels only a short distance to
the point of contact, whereas the right cross must travel
at least twice the distance to the point of contact. Hence,
as shown in the illustration, a good jab will offset a good
Practicing the One-Two Punch
Again, starting from the correct on-guard position (Illus-
tration 34) , the puncher (dark trunks) throws the left
jab (the Number One punch) and moves into position
for the right-hand shot (Illustration 35). Note that he
holds his right hand back to keep his opponent guessing
as to whether or not he will throw more jabs, a left hook,
or the right hand. The blocker keeps his shoulder high
and rolls to his right just slightly.
The puncher (dark trunks) immediately follows the left
jab with the right cross, or Number Two punch (Illustra-
tion 36). Note that the left is snapped back for protection
and is ready to go again. Proper timing is all-important.
The Number Two punch (right cross) must instantly
follow the Number One (left jab). The puncher must
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
not telegraph his right by pulling it back, or by lifting up
the elbow. The right must be snapped right from the on-
guard position. Note that the block is the same as for the
right cross. Again, the left is dropped by the puncher only
for practice purposes. If the puncher hesitates between
the One and Two punches, the blocker usually will
counter with his left, thereby offsetting the right-hand
The one-two punch is usually more effective after the
puncher has bothered his opponent with a series of jabs,
mixed in with a few left hooks, or a feint, followed by the
left hook. The objective should be to bother the opponent
so much with the left that a good right-hand opening is
made. When the opening appears, the boxer should let
the right fly without hesitation, and without trying to
punch too hard. Stress to your boys that they must not
punch hard, but fast, letting the speed provide the punch-
Left to the Body
A left to the body is usually a dangerous offensive punch
to lead with, but it is effective as a counter punch when
slipping a left jab. To be on the safe side, warn your boys
that they should never lead with a left jab to the body
because of the danger of a right-hand counter. But they
may use the left after slipping the opponent's left jab, then
countering with the left to the body.
Practicing the Left Counter to the Body
Both boys start off from the regular on-guard position
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
Note in Illustration 38 that the puncher (white trunks)
has led off with a left jab (the Number One punch) and
that the counter puncher (dark trunks) has moved his
head to the right, just enough to slip the jab. The counter
puncher (dark trunks) throws his own left jab to the
heart of his opponent. Again, for illustrative purposes,
the original puncher (white trunks) drops his right glove
to his body to block the left counter. The same twisting
motion of the fist is used by the boxer when executing both
the left and the right to the body, as well as when punching
the left and the right to the head. This step should be prac-
ticed over and over again so that the counter puncher
will be able to duck and counter instinctively.
Wrong Way to Use a Left to the Body
In Illustration 39 the boxer (dark trunks) has tried to
lead with a left to the body and, in doing so, gets caught
with a right-hand counter punch. The jab to the body
is not a hard enough blow to justify taking this chance.
Used as a counter with the boxer coming towards his
opponent, the left to the body becomes a stiffer blow.
Risking being hit by a hard right to the head, as shown
in the illustration, is poor ring generalship.
Right to the Body
The right to the body is also a dangerous punch with
which to lead off, but it is effective as another counter
punch after a left hand is thrown. This punch is really
punishing and often ends a bout if executed correctly. It
is difficult to train boys to punch to the body rather than
to the head, but once they learn to do a good job of body
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
punching, it certainly pays dividends. We often ask: "Why
hurt your hands on a hard head when there is so much
body to punch at?" and then answer: "The point of the
chin is only an inch long, whereas there is a foot of body
to shoot at."
Practicing the Right to the Body
Again from the regular on-guard position (Illustration
40), the original puncher (white trunks) leads off with
a left jab (Illustration 41), and his opponent (dark
trunks) slips his head to his left, meanwhile throwing his
right glove to the heart. For purposes of illustration, the
right glove is placed to catch the right to the body. This
allows the counter puncher to put some zip into his
punches. This procedure should be practiced many times,
with the boys taking turns as puncher and counter-
The Wrong Way to Throw the Right to the Body
The boxer (dark trunks) tried to lead with a right
to the body, with the result shown in Illustration 42. The
boxer (white trunks) for whom the right was intended
beats his opponent to the punch with a left jab, thereby
making the right-hand punch miss. He (white trunks)
also had the alternative of hopping back and throwing
a left hook (Illustration 43), or of following up the left
jab with a good right cross (Illustration 44). In any event,
the boxer trying to lead with a right to the body usually
gets into trouble and unnecessarily catches a couple of
PRACTICE ROUTINES AND SUGGESTIONS
The boxing student should be taught that whenever
he bends or slides to his right he is to punch out with his
left, and when he bends or slides to his left, he is to punch
out with his right hand. This is true for both head and
After you have drilled your boxers sufficiently in the
left and right hand punches to the body, they have at
their command three choices of counters for their oppo-
nent's left jab: (1) countering the left jab with another
left jab (Illustration 45); (2) slipping the left-jab lead
by bending or moving the head to the right and jabbing
the left to the body (Illustration 46); (3) slipping the
left jab lead by bending the head to the left and punching
with the right to the body (Illustration 47).
The Left Hook
There is now only one more necessary punch to be
mastered by the prospective champion. It is the left hook,
which we will call Number Five.
Boxing is not a difficult sport to learn or to coach. It
is a matter, for the pupil, of mastering a few fundamental
punches and blocks; for the coach, of being able to teach
the necessary technique in these punches. A left jab
and a right cross, interspersed with a few left hooks, com-
prise the necessary repertoire. A boxer correctly executing
these three punches will win over the "fancy Dan" every
The Left Hook
The left hook is the most difficult of the punches to
master, and consequently a bit more difficult to teach. But
once accomplished, it pays dividends. As with the jab and
cross, there are a few "musts" to be followed in delivering
a proper left hook. Let us examine the steps to be fol-
Illustration 48 shows the position of the feet at the
start of the left hook, and Illustration 49 portrays the
finish of the left hook. At the start of the hook the feet
are in the regular on-guard position. That is, the boxer
THE LEFT HOOK
is on the ball of the left or front foot, and on the toe
of the back or right foot. At the finish, this is reversed.
The boxer is on the toe of the front foot, and on the ball
of the back foot. Note further that both toes at the finish
twist to the right, and the left knee is bent. This is neces-
sary because of the pivot of the body to the right when
the left hook is thrown. Much of the "kick" behind the
left hook is accomplished by this footwork, thus the shift
from the toe of the back foot to the toe of the front foot
is vitally important. It is good practice for the coach to
have his boys go through this foot shifting over and over
again, before teaching the actual punch.
Illustration 50 shows the start of the left hook and Illus-
tration 51, the finish. The left hook must begin from the
on-guard position for proper deception. The opponent
does not know whether to expect a jab, a cross, a feint,
or a hook, as long as they all start from the same position.
Note that, at the finish of the punch, the left thumb is
up, just as it was at the start of the punch (Illustrations 50
and 51). There is no twist of the fist as in delivering the
left jab and cross. This is necessary for the proper protec-
tion of the hand. Note further that the forearm is rigid
from the elbow to the knuckles, and does not bend at the
•wrist. This makes for greater punching power and pre-
vents sprained wrists. The hook is thrown in a half arc
to the opponent's chin, and with a complete follow-
through motion for power.
A left hook, thrown properly, has a tremendous "kick"
to it. It must be a loose, easy, snappy, punch. Frequently
a boxer tries to put too much body behind the punch,
thereby making it a push punch. The hook is a loose,
THE LEFT HOOK
arm-propelled punch. The "kick" comes from the loose-
ness of the delivery and the proper pivoting of the feet
and body. Another advantage of a left hook, in addition
to the "kick," is the short distance it travels to reach the
opponent's chin. Naturally it is a quicker and easier punch
to land than the longer-traveling right cross. The hook
moves about a third of the distance and is a more deceptive
As previously stated, the left hook is the most difficult
of the punches to master, but I have found that working
on the light punching bag is an ideal way to learn this
I shall never forget the surprise of one of my boys the
first time he tried a left hook in an intercollegiate match.
He was an excellent boxer, but had never thown a left
hook. We had him practice the punch for three days on
the light punching bag, two or three rounds each day. At
the outset of the next match, he walked out to the center
of the ring, feinted his left jab to the body, and then
threw a left hook to the chin. His opponent dropped for-
ward into his arms and the bout was over. Needless to
say, he was probably as much surprised as his opponent,
and was a convert to the left hook from that time on.
Illustrations 52 to 56 inclusive show the sequence of
punches to be used on the bag to obtain the proper form
and zip in throwing a left hook. Illustration 52: The left
jab; hitting the bag straight ahead. Illustration 53: On
the rebound, hitting the bag with the back of the left
hand. Note rigid forearm. Illustration 54: On the next
rebound, hitting the bag straight ahead with the right
cross. Illustration 55: The next rebound, hitting the bag
THE LEFT HOOK
with the back of the right hand, while the left is in position
to throw a hook.
In Illustration 56, showing the last of these practice
punches on the bag, the boxer is coming across the side
of the bag, with a loose, snappy left hook, thumb upward,
and forearm rigid. Most boxers will at first pull their left
hand back too far before throwing the hook. This should
be corrected, and the point stressed that the left shoulder
is never pulled back or lowered when the boxer is throw-
ing the hook. Remember — the hook is a short, snappy
punch. Enough power can be put into the punch without
pulling the arm far back.
In addition to this left hook practice on the punching
bags, the boys may be paired up the same way as when
practicing the jabs and crosses to the chin and body. One
does the punching and another the blocking, with fre-
quent switching around so that the boys leam both the
punch and the block.
From the regular on-guard position (Illustration 57)
the puncher in dark tru nk s (Illustration 58) practices
throwing the left hook, remembering not to "telegraph"
the hook by dropping the left shoulder or by pulling
the arm back before throwing the punch. Note that the
blocker catches the punch right alongside his jaw with
his glove, and moves in, not out. The natural reaction
seems to be to pull away or out from a left hook. This is
absolutely the wrong thing to do. If the blocker moves
in, the hook often ends harmlessly around his neck (Illus-
tration 59). Many times, however, the blocker (white
trunks) gets a good chance, when moving in, to counter
with a right hand. The boxers have changed positions in
THE LEFT HOOK
Illustration 60 to give the reader a clearer view of a
One-Two-Three to the Chin
Now that we have fully discussed the left hook, we
go into the next sequences of punches — the one-two-three
to the chin or, in other words, the left jab, the right cross,
and the left hook. Illustrations 61 to 65 demonstrate the
proper technique to be used for both the puncher and the
Starting again from the on-guard position (Illustration
61), the puncher throws the left jab (Illustration 62).
Note that the blocker (white trunks), for convenience in
practicing, * drops his left hand, and catches the jab with
his right hand.
In Illustration 63 the puncher (dark trunks) throws
the right cross (Number Two punch) straight and sharp,
inside, and has his left hand back in position, ready to
let loose with the left hook. The left hand is carried high,
around his face, both for protection and to be in the
proper position to throw a fast hook without "telegraph-
In Illustration 64 the puncher (dark trunks), zips over
the left hook to the chin (Number Three punch) loose
and fast and in a half-arc movement. The blocker has
shifted his right hand from the left side of his chin, which
was the place where he blocked punches One and Two,
to the right side of his jaw to block the hook, and his
head is moved in, not out. Stress the fact that blocking
is just as important as punching. Note that the puncher
(dark trunks) has brought his right glove back while
THE LEFT HOOK
his left hook is out, thereby protecting his own chin in
the event of a counter. Illustration 65 shows what happens
when the puncher (dark trunks) forgets to draw his own
right back to cover his chin. His opponent (white trunks)
counters with a sharp right cross. That one mistake may
cost the puncher a bout because he became careless and
did not protect his own chin. Boxers must always remem-
ber: when one hand is out punching, the other hand
should be back blocking, and in position to deliver another
The preceding three illustrations provide very good
examples for both punchers and blockers. These steps
should be taken slowly at first until the boys get the
rhythm and timing. Then the tempo should be increased
into the one-two-three timing with no hesitation between
punches. No one of the three punches should be stressed
above the others. They all must be thrown loosely and
sharply to be effective.
One-Two-Three to the Body
After a boxer has thrown a few one-two-threes to the
chin, his opponent will likely guard against repetition of
the same sequence. Usually the opponent, in his eager-
ness to block the left hook, will raise his right elbow up
high enough to allow a left hook to be thrown to the body,
hence we should study next the one-two-three sequence
to the body. The following method should be used in
From the regular on-guard position (Illustration 66)
the puncher throws a left jab (Illustration 67), moving
into position for the Number Two punch, the right cross
THE LEFT HOOK
(Illustration 68). The puncher (dark trunks) throws the
right cross, drawing his left hand into position in readi-
ness to throw the hook. Note that the left hand is brought
back high, just as when the left hook to the chin was
thrown. This is necessary for protection.
The puncher (dark trunks) throws the left hook to
the body, rather than to the chin (Illustration 69). De-
ception is lacking if the left hook is dropped down and
then thrown. It must lower to the opponent's body on the
way over. Observe how the puncher has brought his right
hand back to protect his chin against a possible right-hand
counter. The danger in throwing a left hook to the body
is the same as in delivering the left jab to the body —
the boxer's chin is exposed to a sharp right-hand counter.
After a coach has carefully instructed his boys in the
execution of the few punches we have analyzed, namely
the jab, right cross, and left hook, his job is done as far as
fundamentals are concerned. From this point on the boxer
uses variations of these three fundamental punches.
Actually, the average high school, college, or amateur
boxer who has mastered the jab to the chin, a fair one-two,
with an occasional left hook thrown in for good luck, will
come out victorious in the vast majority of his bouts,
without ever learning any further variations of the
punches. However, for the benefit of coaches and boxers
who wish to familiarize themselves with the variations, I
will include a few of the more simple and popular ones.
I STATED THAT THE COACHING JOB WAS OVER, AS FAR AS
fundamentals are concerned, when the boys were carefully
drilled in executing the left and right to the chin and
body, and the left hook. I am an advocate of perfecting
the simple fundamentals, using them at the right time,
and then letting the opponent make the mistakes. How-
ever, following are some of the most effective variations
which are not difficult to master.
Left Jab — Right to the Body — Left Hook to the Jaw
Against a boxer who carries his left elbow high or
extends it too far out from the body thereby leaving an
opening for a right to the body, the following sequence
is effective: a left jab to the jaw (Illustration 70) ; a right
to the body (Illustration 71) under the opponent's high
left, moving in at the same time to be able to follow with
the left hook. Note that the puncher (dark trunks) has
drawn back his left high to protect his chin and to be closer
to the target. After the right to the body the opponent
often drops his hands, thereby leaving an opening for the
third punch, the left hook to the chin (Illustration 72).
Against a tense or tightened-up opponent, a left feint
to the body may be used (Illustration 73). The puncher
(white trunks) feints to the body to draw the opponent's
hands down. This is often effective at the start of the first
round. This may be followed by a left hook to the chin.
With the opponent’s hands drawn down, the puncher
(white trunks) whips across a left hook to the chin (Illus-
Double Left Hook
The puncher (dark trunks) throws the left hook to the
body lightly, to draw his opponent's hand down (Illustra-
tion 75). The puncher must make sure his own chin is
covered with his right glove. This is followed by a left
hook to the chin (Illustration 76). The puncher (dark
trunks), after drawing his opponent’s hands down, whips
a second left hook to the chin. This variation is very effec-
tive, but, again, is dangerous because of exposing the chin.
A sharp right-hand counter usually does the trick against
the careless body puncher.
Again, against a nervous, tense opponent, the following
variation usually works: The puncher (dark trunks) feints
with a left jab to draw the opponent's right glove away
from his jaw (Illustration 77). This is followed by a left
hook (Illustration 78). The puncher (dark trunks), after
drawing out the right hand of his opponent, has a good
shot at his chin with a fast left hook. The right hand is
kept back and high, ready to follow up the left hook with
a sharp right if the opportunity arises.
The puncher immediately follows the left hook with
his right cross (Illustration 79). This variation is often
used in place of the left-right-hook, making it a left-hook-
Many more variations might be suggested and illus-
trated, but it has been my experience that giving the boys
too many punch sequences tends to confuse rather than
help them. The previously-mentioned variations and se-
quences, along with the regular fundamentals, are sufficient
for any boxer.
The Right Uppercut
I suggest spending comparatively little time on the right
uppercut. Only it the opponent has his head bent down
and forward, and is coming forward, is the punch effective.
We once taught our Wisconsin boxers the right upper-
cut and worked on the punch for one week before we met
a particular team. This was only because the boxers on
that team were coached in a boring-in style against which
the uppercut was very effective. Since those particular
matches we have not been fortunate enough to meet a
team whose boxers were "cousins" for right uppercuts.
Consideration of left uppercuts is purposely omitted. I
have never seen an effective left uppercut. I occasionally
hear about them.
The puncher (dark trunks) must not tip off his upper-
cut (Illustration 80) by dropping his right just before
he throws the punch. The uppercut is delivered by lower-
ing the right on the way across and "scooping" up and
to the jaw. Note the position of the hand upon contact.
The puncher lands with the four knuckles of the right
fist, and pivots his body as the punch is thrown in order
to get the proper "kick." Note further that the left hand
is drawn back and high to protect the chin.
The right uppercut to the body (Illustration 81) is
sometimes effective when the opponent is coming in with
hands high. Note the twist of the puncher's body; also
the left hand which is back and high as a defense against
the opponent's possible right-hand counter. This is a
dangerous punch to throw unless the opponent is a proper
target — crouching with hands held high.
Scouting Future Opponents
Scouting is of great value in team sports. The same
is true in respect to scouting in boxing. Looking over a
future opponent engaged in a boxing match with a third
team does not present the same problems inasmuch as
you must watch only one man at a time.
The primary purpose of scouting is to determine the
strong points of each man on a team to be met at a future
date. You must then figure a defense to combat the of-
fensive strength of each man, and at the same time pick
out his weaknesses so that you can show your boxer how
to take advantage of them.
Your boxer will benefit by knowing whether the man
he is to face (1) is an aggressive boxer; (2) is a counter
puncher; (3) is right or left-handed; (4) is taller or
shorter; (5) has a longer or shorter reach; (6) is a boxer
or a swinger; (7) carries his hands high or low; (8) is a
straight puncher or hooker; (9) is vulnerable to body or
head blows; (10) is orthodox or unorthodox in move-
ments around the ring; (11) presses, or moves in side-to-
side; (12) stands up straight or uses a weaving style; (13)
makes any special or peculiar movements that give away
his next move — i.e., does he drop his left before he hooks;
does he raise his elbows before a straight right; is he tense,
SCOUTING FUTURE OPPONENTS
thereby susceptible to being feinted out of position; (14)
is a cool-headed boxer, or changes according to the way
the bout is progressing; (15) drops his left after a jab,
thereby making himself vulnerable to a right; (16) uses
his right hand, if a southpaw?
All the above information must be summed up and
given to your boxer on the basis of his capability to com-
bat or take advantage of it. In other words, if you discover
that a future opponent is open to a sharp jab, for example,
but your boxer is not a jabber, another plan of attack
would have to be devised. We often know what punches
would definitely work against an opponent, but we must
determine whether or not the boxer we are advising can
properly use that particular punch. Some boxers, for
example, cannot use left hooks, hence should not be in-
structed to throw them and in so doing take a chance of
being hit with a hard right-hand counter. The entire
situation must be summed up, and your advice given
1 . Proper start of the
bandaging. Loop through the
thumb, starting high on the
wrist, fingers apart, wrist
rigid, and wrapping away from
2. Wrap in form of an "X"
to fully protect the bones of the
fist and work down to the
knuckles, wrapping three or
four loops over the thumb
joint, and three layers over
3. Bring the last loop up
to the wrist; tear the end into
two strings to enable you to
tie a knot. As in the
illustration, the bandage must
be high on the wrist, affording
the thumb and bones of
the hand full protection.
4. Proper position of the
fist for the start of the jab,
cross, and hook, with
either hand. The
thumb knuckle points
up-B a r d, the other
5. Proper position fora
jab, and for the right cross
at the time of impact. The
thumb knuckle points
inward, the other
6. At point of impact of
the left hook, the thumb
knuckle is pointing upward.
7. The wrong way to land
a left hook. An injured thumb
is usually the result.
8. Proper position of the
forearm when landing all
blows. The wrist is never
9. Start of the on-guard position. Note 10. The boxer slides the left foot
that the hands are down, the fists are forward,
properly closed, and the feet are parallel
to each other.
33. After assuming- his foot position,
the boxer bends his body and swings
from left to right to determine whether
or not he has proper balance.
14. A boxer with feet too far apart has to stretch too far for
a right-hand shot at his opponent.
18. Front view of complete and
correct on-guard position.
19. Start of the left jab from the
20. Completion of the left jab
21. Wrong: way for a boxer to
bring his left hand back after de-
livering a left jab.
1 7 ^ ' • £
25. Start of the right cross.
26. Completion of the right cross.
27. The wrong way to deliver a right
31. The right cross:
blocker (white trunks) and
puncher (dark trunks in m-
33. Blocker (white
trunks) keeps his right
high and counters a right
and by a left jab to the
shoulder of the original
32. The blocker (white
trunks) lowers his left arm
to give the puncher (dark
trunks) practice in landing
the right cross.
34. The One-Two Punch
Puncher (dark trunks) am
blocker are in the on
35. The puncher throws the
left jab (the Number One
punch) and moves into
position for the right-hand
36. The puncher inline
diate follows the left jab
with the right cross, on
Number Two punch.
37. Practicing the left
counter to the body: the on-
41. Original puncher
(white trunks) leads off with a
left jab. and his opponent slips
his head to his left, meanwhile
throwing his right glove to the
42. The boxer (dark
trunks) tried to lead with a
right to the body.
46. Slipping: a left jab
lead by bending or moving
the head to the right and
jabbing the left to the
47. Slipping a left jab
lead by bending the head
to the left and punching
with the right to the body.
48. Position of the feet at the 49. Position of the feet at the
start of the left hook. finish of the left hook.
52. Sequence of punches for the left 53. On the rebound, hitting the bag with
hook: The left jab — hitting the bag the back of the left hand,
54. On the next rebound, the bag is hit
straight ahead with the right cross.
55. On the next rebound, the bag is hit 56. The boxer is coming across the
with the back of the right hand, side of the bag, with a loose, snappy left
while the left is in a position to throw hook,
57. The regular on-
58. The puncher in dark
trunks practices throwing
the left hook.
59. If the blocker (white
trunks) moves in, the
hook ends harmlessly
around his neck.
63. The puncher (dark
trunks) throws the right
cross (Number Two
64. The puncher (dark
trunks) zips over the left
hook to the chin (Number
65. The puncher (dark
trunks) has forgotten
to draw his own right
back cover his chin.
75. The puncher (dark
trunks) throws the left
hook to the body lightly,
draw his opponent's and
76. After making sure his
own chin is covered with
his right glove, puncher
throws a left hook to the chin.
77. Another variation:
puncher (dark trunks)
feints with a left jab to
draw the opponent's right
glove away from his jaw.
78. This is followed by a left hook.
79. The left hook is followed by a right cross.
80. The puncher (dark trunks) must not tip off
his uppercut by dropping his right just before he
throws his punch.
81. The right uppercut to the body.
82. Boxer should not sprawl over
83. He should assume a comfortable
and natural sitting position, with knees
84. The specially designed glove
now used in college and high school
85. A suggested padding
arrangement for ring
86. Left, the competitive headgear now used in actual
matches: right, the regular training headgear.
87. Boxer checks his on-guard 88. Boxer checks his punching motions
position before a full-length before the mirror,
93. The wrong way to throw a
94. Father and son have thrown jabs
simultaneously, thus learning both the
punch and the blocks.
95. Son is practicing his right with
father's chin as target.
96. A light uppercut will show the
boy the weaknesses of this attack.
99. Mass instruction drill with stress on on-guard position. Program Director
Champagne is at right.
100. Participants in the boxing school look on while Program Director Neil
Champagne demonstrates the fundamental position in the delivery of a left jab.
101. Eight boys in the ring at the same time, participating in Controlled Boxing
102. Light and heavy bag drill used in teaching proper hitting techniques
Boxing a Southpaw
It is generally agreed that a southpaw has a distinct
advantage in a three-round amateur bout. The reason
is simple. A southpaw is accustomed to boxing a right-
hander, whereas most right-handers are unfamiliar with
Normally southpaws are strictly left-handed punchers,
and use their right hand merely to offset the right-hander's
extended left hand. It is for this reason that, when we get
a southpaw on our squad, we immediately teach him how
to deliver a right jab and a right hook. The right hook
is very effective as an offensive punch; also as a counter-
punch thrown immediately after a short hop-back. A
southpaw who uses his right hand efficiently along with
his normally effective left hand is hard to beat.
We have taught the following successful tactics: The
right-hander must very definitely circle to his left, away
from the southpaw's potent left hand. He must keep his
left hand high, and either beat the southpaw to the punch
with a sharp right, or feint with his right-hand punch, hop
back, and then counter with a sharp right. After each
right-hand, follow immediately with a left hook. The
sequence, therefore, is: a straight right, followed by a left
hook, rather than the normal sequence used against another
right-hander — i.e., the left jab, followed by the right cross
and sometimes the left hook.
If the southpaw maintains a proper stance, with his right
hind high, the right-hander’s left jab will be ineffective. It is
for this reason that we teach the lead-with-the-right-hand,
followed immediately by the left hook. The right-hand lead
is bad against another right-hander, but must be used against
a southpaw. The important thing to remember at all times
against a southpaw is that you must never move to your
right , into his left hand. Be sure you come back immediately
with your left hook after your right cross.
Boxing a Right-Hander
A right-hander must keep his chin down, and his left
shoulder and left hand up. When the left hand or
shoulder drops, the chin is exposed, leaving him open
to a right-hand shot. We make it a rule that whenever an
opponent is careless enough to drop his left hand the
opening calls for an immediate right-hand shot.
Odd as it may seem, one of the most frequent mistakes
made by a boxer is dropping the left hand, thereby leaving
himself open for right-hand punches. As a result, all boxers
should be carefully trained and coached to take advantage of
this mistake by throwing sharp, straight rights, once the
opportunity presents itself. Y our boxer should be taught that
a short, straight right, rather than a hard, telegraphed right
will do the trick. The opportunity is usually there
only for an instant, hence the short, fast right rather than
the looping, hard right.
Many opponents carry their left high when they start
the jab, but carelessly drop the left law after the jab. The
boxer should be taught to size up the situation readily
and take advantage of it by riding away from the left jab,
and immediately riding in with a straight right over the
returning low left. If your boxer does not take advantage
of this opportunity, it is your duty to advise him in the
corner just how he may do so.
A grave mistake often made by boxers throwing left
hooks is the practice of either dropping the hook upon
delivery, or throwing it in too wide an arc. This error
naturally makes the boxer very susceptible to a straight
right hand, and should be taken advantage of as soon as
the left shoulder is lowered or the wide arc begins.
Again, if your boy is making this mistake it is your duty
to point it out to him. If the mistake is being made by the
opponent, see to it that your boy takes advantage of it.
When you are throwing the left hook, your right hand
must cover the left side of your face, as a precaution in
case your opponent beats you to the punch with a right-
Boxers often make the mistake of trying to lean away
from a hook rather than bending inside the blow as they
should when competing against an opponent with a good
left hook. If an attempt is made to lean away from the
hook, on the second try the hooker will merely reach out
a little further and connect. If the opponent bends inside
the hook, even though he does not counter with the right
hand, the left hook will end up harmlessly around his
It is often hard to get an amateur boxer to use body
punches effectively. We try to convey to the boys the idea
that they have a foot of body to shoot at for each inch
of chin. Further, by driving punches home into your
opponent's body you usually cause him to lower his hands,
thereby presenting you an excellent opportunity to land
on his chin. Often a boxer will aim constantly at the
chin, even though his opponent's hands and shoulders are
high, thus presenting easy opportunities to land a punch
to the body. A boxer with a variety of body and head
punches is obviously a more dangerous opponent than one
who directs all his punches at the head.
Advice from the Corner
Many bouts are won or lost through the advice given
between rounds. With rest periods lasting only one min-
ute, every second should be utilized. The coach must first
realize that his boy is coming back primarily for a rest.
He should not allow his boxer to sprawl all over the comer
as in Illustration 82. The boxer should assume a com-
fortable, natural sitting position as in Illustration 83. The
knees should be bent, not stretched out as in Illustration
82, nor should the arms and gloves be stretched over the
top rope as shown in the same illustration. The boxer
should be made to take good deep breaths as a means of
regaining his normal breathing. Water should not be
given until about 20 seconds of the rest period have
elapsed. The mouthpiece should be removed immediately
and washed, then replaced in the mouth at the 10-second
As to the advice, that naturally varies according to the
bout and the boxers involved. 1 believe, however, that a
big mistake is made in trying to cram too much advice
into the boxer in the short time allotted. As a result, the
boxer often becomes confused and does not retain any of
the advice. It is much better to pick out the one or two
main weaknesses of the opponent. The second should no-
tify his boxer of these weaknesses and tell him which
punches to use to take advantage of them. Further, the
second should pick out the one main mistake his boxer
is making and emphasize that point alone. 1 have often
seen boys come to their corners between rounds compara-
tively calm, only to get no rest whatsoever because the
coach or second was excited and tried to fill them too full
Often a coach must teach his boys to heed advice given
between rounds. Some boys are too excitable and pay no
attention. Others drink in every word of advice. This
point should be impressed upon the boxers before the
match: the second or coach in the corner can see many
of the faults of the opponent that the boxer misses, hence
the advice given between rounds may very well be the
difference between winning and losing. The principal
things to be remembered are (1) complete relaxation; (2)
water after 20 seconds; (3) not too much advice. Point
out the important mistakes being made by both boys, and
advise how to take advantage of the opponent's mistakes.
Don't confuse the boxers by pointing out many things all
at one time.
Illustration 84 shows the specially designed glove now
used in college and high school boxing. Note the webs
between the thumbs and forefingers. This prevents thumb
injuries and eye bruises. The padding is thin at the wrist
and heavier over the hitting surface. The glove widens
out over the kn uckles or hitting surface. Twelve-ounce
gloves are now used in colleges and gloves of 12 and 14
ounces in high schools.
Illustration 85 shows a suggested padding arrangement
for ring corners. The pad runs from the padded cap over
the corner post, down past the first rope from the floor,
over to the bottom of the post. This eliminates any pos-
sible injuries from contact with the turnbuckles.
Illustration 86 shows (at the left) the competitive head-
gear now used in actual matches. It is very light in weight
and snug; it is adjustable under the chin, on top and in
the back, and does not obstruct the vision in any manner.
It completely eliminates the possibility of eye cuts or
bruised ears. This headgear is now mandatory in actual
matches in both colleges and high schools and has met with
100 per cent approval from both boxers and coaches. The
headgear shown at the right in Illustration 86 is the regular
training headgear. It is heavier and more sturdy, thereby
providing the necessary protection for training work-outs.
A full-length mirror as shown in Illustrations 87 and 88
is a very valuable piece of equipment for all boxers. Boys
can correct many faults by shadow-boxing in front of the
mirror, watching the position of their hands, their feet,
checking whether the shoulder is up and the chin down,
whether their punches are snapping in, and all such items
of importance. A good practice is for the boxer to start
off in the regular on-guard position as in Illustration 87,
check each point, then throw a punch, as in Illustration 88,
hold the position, and again check the "rights and wrongs."
This method of visually watching one's own motions has
proven invaluable to many boys. The boxer should check
each punch in this manner to find out his own mistakes
and to improve his technique. Mirror shadow-boxing is
particularly good immediately after coming out of the ring
during a work-out when the mistakes and good points are
uppermost in the boxer's mind. A good boxer uses his
head only to think with, and not as a target for his
Each father at some time or other during the
"growing" years of his sons sees fit to instruct his proteges
in the art of self-defense.
This chapter is designed to help you, as a father, give
the right answers to the many questions that will be di-
rected toward you during this procedure. With a little
careful study and digesting of this and the past chapters,
you can get right down on your knees and be a "coach"
of whom your son will be proud. Learning the proper
blocks as illustrated in prior chapters will also prevent
that embarrassing "black eye" that would be awfully hard
to explain to your associates the next day.
I stated at the beginning of this book that we intended
to be very fundamental, and that the ensuing instructions
could be used for the little boy of seven, grade school
and high school boys, as well as the amateur golden glover,
C.Y.O. boxer, and the collegian. Practical experience has
proven that the "little guy" of seven can absorb the funda-
mentals almost as readily as his big brother of twenty. We
have been teaching "kid" classes since 1933 and find that
boys seven to fifteen are very apt pupils — alert and reten-
tive — and that because we get them from "scratch," they
have no bad habits to break.
One of the most important things a dad can teach his son
is "how to make a proper fist," in order to avoid future
hand injuries. We all know how a painful thumb or finger
injury results when a baseball or football strikes the wrong
part of the hand. The same is true if the thumb of your
boy's fist is not properly folded, or if on landing a blow
the force is centered on protruding knuckles. When the
blow is properly landed the knuckles of the fist should be
straight across (no protruding knuckles), thereby allowing
the whole fist to absorb the force of the blow. The result
gives the boy more power to his blow and minimizes
chances of injury to his hands.
I suggest that as the next step you (the father) hold
your left hand, palm open and inward, and hit your palm
with a closed right fist. In going through this procedure,
check to see if the right thumb is properly curled over,
and if the fist on contact is landing on all four knuckles,
rather than on one or two protruding knuckles. After you
have properly trained yourself (preferably the night be-
fore giving son a lesson), teach him the same procedure,
hitting the open hand with the closed right fist, and stress-
ing the proper points of a "right" and "wrong" fist. Then
reverse the procedure, holding the right hand open and
hitting the palm with the left fist.
It is odd but true that the average youngster in making
a fist without being properly taught, will fold his thumb
inside his closed fingers. (Illustration 89, right fist.) For
some unknown reason he has the feeling his thumb be-
comes better protected in this manner. This is the surest
way to sprain, dislocate, or even break the second thumb
joint. Boys also make the mistake of allowing the thumb
to stick up (as in Illustration 89, left fist) instead of prop-
erly curling the thumb over the closed fist (as in Illustra-
tion 90). Impress this upon your son. Illustration 89
shows the two "wrong ways." Illustration 90 shows the
It is surprising how many boys grow to college age with-
out even having been taught how to hit properly. Hence
if the father gets no point across to his son other than the
proper care of his hands, he has done a good job. A boy
who is taught the proper fundamentals at an early age has
a distinct advantage over others. If he chooses to box in
high school, college, or as an amateur, he has a head start
on the beginner. The coach will not have to break any
unorthodox or bad boxing habits he has acquired by
Your son, whether he be seven or seventeen (assum-
ing after seventeen you would rather have another
"coach" take him over) can be taught just exactly as we
have illustrated in previous chapters. However, just to
simplify the father-son relationship, get on your knees,
put across the points suggested, and then proceed as out-
lined in the following paragraphs.
Illustration 91: Father is showing son the all-important
on-guard position. Note that the left foot is always out,
the chin is down, and the shoulder and hands are up. Put
your son in the right position, impress each point, and rest
assured he will retain his coaching.
Illustration 92: The right way to throw the right hand.
Father is pointing to the left foot which is forward as it
should be, with the right foot back. The right hand is
thrown straight out, and the chin is down. The left hand
is back in position and raring to go.
Illustration 93: The wrong way to throw the right. Son
has followed his right hand by crossing over with his right
leg. Father is pointing to his mistake. Son is off balance;
also, his arm is bent instead of being straight. Moving the
right leg across when throwing the right is a common mis-
take made by boys, but it should be immediately corrected
if you want your son to do a good job.
Illustration 94: After son has learned how to hit prop-
erly and to assume the correct on-guard, put the gloves on
with him, get on your knees, and practice the punches
with him. Show him how to block as well as to hit, and
be sure you know the blocks yourself. In this illustration
both father and son have thrown the jabs simultaneously,
thus learning both the punch and the blocks.
Illustration 95: Son is practicing his trusty right with
father's chin as target. Father drops his left to allow the
right to come across, and blocks with his own right. See
that your son snaps the right straight across with a lot of
zip, and that he has his fist closed, chin down, shoulder up.
Be sure he does not throw a "roundhouse" right.
Illustration 96: Sons sometimes become over-exuberant,
forget their teaching, and come in swinging wild with
head down. A good "object" lesson is readily taught by
landing a light uppercut as shown in this illustration. Be
sure and duck that wild right, however.
Illustration 97: Take your boy to a sand-bag or some
such object, and have him go through the punches you
have taught him. Be sure to correct any mistakes he is
making, or he will become careless when he is actually
Illustration 98: Punching a light bag is fun. It is great
exercise, and increases speed and coordination. Little
boys pick up the knack very quickly after a minimum
amount of practice. Fathers also find a punching bag excel-
lent exercise, and unlike most exercises, they enjoy it. You
may wear the same pleased expression as the father in the
illustration after a few sessions of coaching your son on
how to do it the right way.
Sportsmanship can be taught a boy through the medium
of boxing, perhaps better than through any other sport.
We have always conveyed to youngsters in our "kid" classes
that the boxing they are being taught should be used only
in the boxing ring, not on the school grounds, or in taking
advantage of the untrained boy. The results have been
very gratifying. I have had grade school teachers inform
me of occasions where our boxing class boys had oppor-
tunities to engage in the usual school skirmishes, but
retorted, "I'm not going to fight with you. I’ve had boxing
lessons and you haven’t." I have also known of instances
in which boys aggravated to action found their boxing
lessons very handy in teaching the neighborhood bully a
good lesson, and in making him a better sport.
The process of teaching your boy the fundamentals of
boxing often proves to be a great "equalizer" for him. It
cannot help but increase his confidence, an asset which we
as fathers all know too many boys lack. Again, I have seen
many, many times a very timid boy gain confidence in
himself as the lessons progress. Boys who were afraid to
be in the same ring or class group with certain "tough"
boys at the beginning, later, with the confidence gained
through instruction, asked, "Coach, let me box him; I'm
not afraid any more."
Boxing as a Summer
Summertime community recreation programs are
growing in popularity and scope throughout the nation
as the residents of the communities become more and
more conscious of the need for supervised recreational
activity as an outlet for the energy, inclinations, and talents
of the young people who live in their midst.
A model project of this nature is that sponsored by one
of the great metropolitan dailies of our country, the Minne-
apolis Star, under the guidance of its executive sports edi-
tor, Charlie Johnson. It is an outdoor boxing school con-
ducted annually in Minneapolis' Logan Park, a municipal
recreation center. In its first four years of operation this
program of wholesome and carefully-supervised activity
attracted youngsters from throughout this city of more
than a half-million population to the extent of 10,000
Because it might well serve as a blueprint for other
communities desirous of providing healthful and con-
structive recreation for young boys within their bounds we
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
have asked Neil Champagne, director of the Minneapolis
Star's Summer Boxing School, to tell the story of this out-
standing and proven project.
THE MINNEAPOLIS PROGRAM
On a sun-drenched knoll of attractively-landscaped
Logan Park in Minneapolis a group of eager youngsters
ranging in age from 6 to 12 years had peeled down to their
waists and were working out under the sympathetic and
able tutelage of coaches carefully selected to direct their
activities. It was a warm July afternoon.
The boys came from every kind of environment. Some
had arrived in expensive automobiles driven by parents
of considerable means. Others whose families weren't in
a position to give them carfare had walked in from some
of the city's poorer districts.
At the Minneapolis boxing camp, however, social posi-
tion means nothing. Scion of the rich and offspring of
the poor meet there on common ground. As one of our
coaches put it, "They all look the same in boxing gloves
and training helmets."
Here was truly a fine opportunity for these boys, every
one of whom had long harbored the desire to learn to box.
Unfortunately the opportunity to get boxing instruction
in a wholesome setting is afforded only a minute number
of the boys so inclined.
The Minneapolis boxing camp was the outgrowth of
the determination of a group of men to provide an oppor-
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
tunity for juveniles with a lot of energy to release it under
the right kind of guidance.
These men suggested to the committee in charge of
disbursing profits from the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves
tournament held in Minneapolis each spring that a sum-
mer boxing camp be established for youngsters six years of
age and up. It was emphasized at this point that the pro-
gram would definitely not be concerned with developing
professional boxing prospects, but, rather, with setting up
an interesting program of recreation that would put em-
phasis on the development of sportsmanship and proper
The committee, comprised of prominent business men,
leading clergymen of the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant
faiths, the director of athletics at the University of Minne-
sota, and Charles Johnson, executive sports editor of the
Minneapolis Star, voiced unanimous approval of the pro-
ject. This group allocated $3,000 for the purchase of
equipment. Ed Haislet of the University of Minnesota
was chosen as the director of the program.
The staff selected to handle the program consisted of
one supervisor and four coaches. The coaches were as-
signed to various areas in Minneapolis corresponding to
the city's high school districts. Each coach was held re-
sponsible for promoting interest among the youngsters of
his particular district.
The initial turnout of boys was so large it was necessary
to divide them into age groups. Under the plan that finally
evolved, boys from six to ten worked out with their
instructors from 6:00 to 7:00 P M and those from ten up
took their instruction between the hours of 7:00 and
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
8:00 P M. These hours were designated to enable parents
to accompany their sons if they so desired.
Equipment provided by the Golden Gloves fund in-
cluded a raised all-steel platform ring, four heavy bags,
four light bags, an exercise platform, boxing gloves, bag
gloves, and head gears. Showers and facilities for dressing
were constructed in the basement of the recreation build-
ing at the playground center.
The boxing school opens in mid-June and continues
through July. On an average day the coaches working in
the program handle 125 boys. To provide additional
incentive for participation in the program a "Junior
Golden Gloves" tournament for boys between the ages
of six and fifteen is held as a climax to the program.
As an indication of the interest aroused in the meet an
audience of several thousand turns out for the show.
Entrants in the tournament are carefully screened. Each
boy must pass a rigid physical examination and is required
to have the written consent of his parents together with a
record of previous medical history. He must have attended
50 per cent of the school's classes and be passed by the
In making the tournament draw the boys are classified
according to age, weight, and experience. One year is the
maximum age difference permitted. The spread in weight
can be no more than five pounds. Divisions A, B, and C
are established and the boys assigned to them according
to ability and experience.
Knowing that their program would be subjected to close
scrutiny by the public, and by opponents of boxing in
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
particular, the directors instituted weekly classes for the
staff of instructors to train them in the best teaching
methods. The coaches were given a detailed program of
conditioning and character training, which they were
expected to pass on to their youthful charges.
To enlist the support of parents and the community as
a whole the sponsors of the Minneapolis boxing program
carried on an extensive publicity campaign. The opening
day's events include exhibitions and demonstrations, and
talks by prominent businessmen, distinguished athletes,
government officials, and community leaders. Each extols
the value of sports participation.
Mike Dillon, Hennepin County attorney, told the 200
A All REGISTRATION application
^ ^ ^ (Utmm wMi IS Cm— i ig h l. Hln foo f Mod CV Mlwpih Um)
Ko»« novor knowing^ onlorod . ^
■ «o«npoHiion lor non*7; mV — AAU No
pownod O prito; occopio d ony " - y ■ ■ —
=s=r-i rr o*. ,? /
vndor o fob# nomoj onlorod so * y
f-1-c. of Wrth
m wwp rt rd wllk a pro fo bbionn l; * ^
bwod • cdoltongo *o w yrl r for OccUDOlton
PWMT or ill rqdrdml) r ocoivod a ^ " *" i “
priN for kico w i m or continuing ^
o* o <won> b »r of on atdlotir orpo o i- Firm Of School
cotvon, oHiKaHd. lough t, trained
Hon; grontod or iunt H>«i» d Ido wto X*? *
•ofoilor for Ido mW d iporting ^
good*, pritoi. tropdioo or older Tgam - - , - _ - .
o m noditiri for wto chiof ly in or in
connection wild gamot or oodibi- , ■ # • . . ,
Hon. In any (port; onlorod or com- 1 can VOUCH tOf thg OmatPUT Status Of this applicont.
potod for on athletic organisation
In wdkd I wet no. in good blond- , <d L -
I can vouch for th* amatgur status of this applicont.
pen cion, or in onion e ll otiod |
or wdon wnrogiblorod.
boys and the 1,000 adults who- attended the opening meet-
ing, "I am certain that the more of you boys who go in
for boxing under the competent teachers engaged for this
camp, the fewer of you will ever see the inside of a court-
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
room later in life. The training you are to receive will
contribute much toward making you better men physically
So successful has been the selling job done by the men
behind this community boxing program that Minneapolis
parents are now thoroughly convinced that the youthful
boxers are participating in a wholesome, health-building,
program of recreation.
The worth of the program from a sportsmanship point
of view was very graphically brought home to me after
one of the championship matches.
Two lads, giving forth with everything they had to win,
engaged in a very well-boxed and keenly-contested bout.
I, of my own volition, wont to participate In Golden
dove instruction, tournaments and matches. In considera-
tion thereof, I hereby, for myself, heirs, executors and ad-
ministrators, waive and release any and oil of my rights
and claims for damages I may have against all othor con-
testants, and against the Minneapolis Star and Tribune
Charities, Inc., the Minnesota Amateur Athletic Union and
against their respresentatives or assigns, for any and all
injuries suffered in Golden Glove participation, in instruc-
tion, tournaments and matches. -
When it was all over the boy who had been declared the
winner went home, wrote a letter to his finals opponent,
and enclosed the medal, declaring that he felt the judges
had erred in awarding him the decision.
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
Who wouldn’t be whole-heartedly in favor of a program
that fosters this kind of exemplary conduct?
Details of the Minneapolis Star
Summer Boxing Program for Boys
The summer boxing program for boys sponsored by the
Minneapolis Star is now a proven and widely-accepted
venture in giving boys a sound start toward successful
In the sincere hope that organizations and individuals
in many other communities will see fit to follow the exam-
ple of the Star I will set forth in the remainder of this
chapter a concise summary of the program, with the idea
in mind that it may serve as a pattern for similar
To stimulate interest in boxing for red-blooded young-
sters who have spare time during the summer and have
need of a program under good leadership to keep them
occupied and interested, the program to be geared to the
teaching of proper hygienic habits — rest, sleep, diet, exer-
cise, and physical conditioning, as well as the teaching of
basic fundamentals of boxing.
To encourage parents to observe what boxing can do
for their boys physically, mentally, and emotionally.
To instill the spirit of companionship and sportsman-
ship in boys at an age when boys are anxious and eager
to prove themselves, and take delight in combative games
and contact sports.
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
The training center originally was located in the center
of the city but due to the fact that the city decided to
build a municipal stadium on this site the program was
moved to one of the city playgrounds. Arrangements were
made and permission was granted by the Minneapolis
The facilities include a dressing room, shower space,
all-steel platform ring (canvas, padding, and ring ropes
are taken down each night to avoid weather damage),
four heavy bags, four light bags with bag platforms, an
exercise platform, eight helmets.
The program commences in the middle of June and
terminates in the last week of July. Notices are sent to
all of the playgrounds in the city for posting.
Each coach is assigned to a district and enrolls boys from
his district. Coaches contact Hi Y's, churches and other
youth agencies in persuading boys to participate. Promo-
tion assistance is given by the newspaper.
Each boy fills out a registration card giving address,
telephone number, and date of birth. This card must be
signed by the parent with a statement of previous medical
history to insure a safeguard of the youngsters' physical
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
Minneapolis Star Summer Boxing Program
Training hours were originally between the hours of
4:30 P M and 7:30 p M. In 1951 the hours were changed to
6:00 P M to 8:00 p M to allow more parents the opportunity
to observe the program in operation.
Cost of Instruction
Instructors are paid $1.50 per hour.
All boys taking part in the program must have a com-
plete medical examination, which is recorded on the back
of the registration card.
Implementation of the Program
Coaches' Clinic Because the instruction program re-
ceives close scrutiny from the opponents of boxing, it is
essential that the best methods of teaching boxing be used
by the instructors. Therefore, a special clinic for instruc-
tors is held. Boxing rules, scoring, judging, and the teach-
ing of fundamentals to large groups are stressed.
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
The chief emphasis of the summer program is on in-
struction and consists of stressing the basic fundamentals
Junior Golden Glove Tournament
In order to stimulate interest in youngsters with recog-
nized ability a Junior Golden Glove tournament is held
as a climax to the summer activity.
Rules and Regulations
Boxers and instructors furnish their own personal gear
— trunks, supporters, socks, shoes, mouthpieces, and
Under no circumstances are professional boxers or
trainers allowed use of facilities.
Supervisor opens locker room, sets up ring, checks out
gear, checks in gear, keeps coaches on schedule, checks
attendance of boxing classes, and generally keeps program
running smoothly. Each coach is responsible for the activi-
ties of his group while at the training center, i.e., dressing
rooms, workouts, showers. Coaches work on schedule. On
reporting to center they check in with the supervisor.
Good instruction and supervision are the prime requi-
sites for the success of any program. Facilities and equip-
ment are important only in relation to the guidance pres-
ent. Success is in proportion to the caliber of guidance.
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
What then, if adequate guidance and facilities are avail-
able, is the best approach to the successful program? The
answer appears to be "Controlled Boxing."
REGISTRATION AND ATTENDANCE
The Minneapolis Star Summer Boxing Camp
At Logan Park
KEY: A. Ten lessons or more B. Registration number
C. Waiver Card D. Tournament entries
E. Number at sessions P. Medical examination
Controlled boxing is the practicing of offensive and de-
fensive skills to form a pattern of reflex when in actual
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
combat boxing. Controlled boxing means working dili-
gently on each phase of boxing. Footwork, stance, and
position of the hands and body are the basic elements.
SUMMER BOXING CAMP
Delly Attendance Record
Dally Attendance -- Date ______
New Candidates Ref.
Registration No. Name Address No.
Daily Attendance Record
The various offensive blows come next, followed by the
various target drills to perfect the delivery. That is, the
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
opponent holds the open hand or glove in various positions
to receive the blow.
The next step is the developing of the defensive skills.
This can also be accomplished in mass participation.
Controlled boxing comes into play at this point. Boxer A
in acquiring the use of the left jab soon works with Boxer
B who drills on the various defensive parries and blocks.
Only after constant drill can this technique be made a
conditioned reflex. The offensive and defensive maneuver-
ing can be applied to every situation in controlled boxing.
The interest for those desiring perfection can be main-
tained throughout each drill without discouraging results.
For the best results at the start of each defensive maneuver
the offensive blow should be delivered on a three count
and command, i.e., Command: "Left jab, ready strike
1, 2, 3." On each count a gradual advance of the left hand
is made whereby the defensive boxer conditions his reflex
to deflect the blow properly.
The football coach works in a similar way in giving
his squad a new play. It is not run at top speed the first
time. The team walks through the play. The same pro-
cedure is followed in controlled boxing. Gradually the
count can be reduced to a two count then to the command:
"Boxer A ready — jab," mixing it up by saying, "Boxer B
ready jab," etc. Each combination of blows can be devel-
oped offensively and defensively in this manner.
This starts with muster. Each boy when registering is
given a number, and answers by giving his number each
time to expedite the roll call.
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
1. Limbering up exercises are given first.
2. Review period includes work of previous lesson.
3. New technique — also includes work technique
of hitting the bag, skipping rope, etc.
Recommended breakdown of group:
1. Age groups
2. New members of class in one group
3. Classes A, B, C as to ability
So that all will know assignments upon the
command from the instructor. Two lines
should be formed according to the above
breakdown. One line becomes A's, the other
B's. In this manner the boys in each group
respond more quickly to the change of
Procedure for Handling Large Groups with Limited Facilities
We have found that the most effective method is to
divide the boys into groups of 16 after the mass drill is
completed each day as follows:
Group No. 1
Boxing — 16 boys: Eight
boys in the ring at
same time, two in each
comer participating in
eight boys standing by
outside the ring rest-
ing and awaiting their
turn in the ring. See
Illustration No. 101.
Group No. 2
Punching bags — 16
boys: Eight boys hit-
ting the bags: 4 on
the light bag, 4 on the
heavy bag, 8 boys
standing by resting
and ready to take
Group No. 3
Skipping rope — 16
boys: 8 boys skipping,
8 boys standing by.
Group No. 4
Calisthenics — 16 boys:
Group No. 5
Special Instruction — 16
boys: 16 participating
without gloves on a
form of the day's
BOXING AS A SUMMER PROJECT
One instructor is assigned to each group. However,
after the boys become familiar with the plan one super-
visor can handle the entire group.
Each group works three one-minute rounds and rests on
alternate rounds. On a whistle by the supervisor the
groups rotate to the next activity. At the end of the drill
the entire group takes a short jog around the park. Six-
teen is an arbitrary figure — depending on the amount of
equipment on hand, i.e., if only two light bag stands and
two heavy bags are used then the best procedure would be
groups of eight boys — four boys hitting the bags, four boys
standing by, etc. The thought is to set up varied group
activities to keep every youngster busy; as the active group
completes its one-minute session the group resting takes
All financial assistance is provided by the Minneapolis
Star and the Minneapolis Tribune due to the fact that the
Minneapolis program is a newspaper promotion. The
annual Upper Midwest Golden Glove Tournament is the
source of revenue for all expenses. The expenditure of
funds is under the control of the Better Sports Committee,
which is composed of leading Minneapolis business men.
It establishes program policy and controls the expenditure
In addition to supporting the junior program the fund
operates the senior Golden Glove program. The senior
program has six Golden Glove centers operating in the
various settlement houses in the Minneapolis area. The